Skaters 'over the moon' after finishing fourth in Grand Prix

Scots ice dancer Lewis Gibson and his partner Lilah Fear came fourth in their second Grand Prix event in Japan - after ranking third in the free dance ahead of last year European bronze medallists.

Gibson and Fear, pictured here with one of their coaching team at a competition earlier in the season, will compete in Sheffield next weekend.

The pair scored 116.92 in the free programme of the NHK Trophy, ranking them ahead of Italian champions Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri, who last year scooped a bronze at the European figure Skating Championships as well as at the 2018 Grand Prix final.

However, combined with their fourth place score in the rhythm dance programme which was skated on Friday, the British couple remained in fourth place with an overall score of 193.01. The competition was won by world and European champions, Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, who train with Gibson and Fear in Montreal and who achieved a personal best total score of 226.61.

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Gibson and Fear were ranked ninth in the Grand Prix series. The top six will compete in the final in Turin in December.

Gibson, who, with Fear, won a bronze medal at their first Grand Prix of the season, Skate Canada International,said: "We’re over the moon with today’s skate. We are super happy with finishing third in the free dance and our fourth place overall. We're looking forward to the British Championships next weekend in Sheffield."

Gibson and Fear are expected to be crowned British champions for the third time in the ice dance category at next weekend's national competition in Sheffield. In the ladies category, Dundee skaters Natasha McKay and Karly Robertson are likely to be battling it out for first place. Murrayfield Ice Rink's Katie Powell will also compete for one of the top spots, as will Dundee's Danielle Harrison.